Pokmon Go now lets you fight Team Rocket hot air balloons • Eurogamer.net

Hot air balloons carrying the villainous Team Rocket have appeared in Pokémon Go.

The first of these floating vehicles appeared in the game last night, following a week of teases suggesting Team Rocket was up to no good once again.

Balloons offer a new way to battle Team Rocket members remotely, rather than visiting a hacked PokéStop.

If you have a Rocket Radar equipped you’ll be able to battle the group’s tough Team Leaders. Or, if you have a Super Radar equipped, you’ll be able to battle the group’s big boss Giovanni (and without the worry of finding one of his numerous decoys).

Balloons seem to be spawning in-game sporadically at the moment, though will feature more heavily in an invasion event set for the game’s upcoming battle-themed week of timed research. This is also set to reward a Super Radar so you can take on Giovanni again.

The addition of an alternative way to fight Team Rocket feels like a deliberate move to restart the game’s Rocket storyline in a post-lockdown world.

Pokémon Go previously featured a monthly story quest to take down Giovanni for a new Shadow Legendary Pokémon. This involved visiting numerous PokéStops, battling Team Leaders and finally tracking down the boss himself.

It was a great gameplay loop – but one which was suddenly put on pause as Pokémon Go reworked itself to fit lockdown conditions.

It’s also a neat idea from Pokémon Go maker Niantic, riffing on the Team Rocket hot air balloon from the Pokémon TV series, and the previous appearance of a real-life hot air balloon over the game’s real-world events to herald the arrival of Team Rocket into the game last summer.

Here’s how they look – and how flying Pokémon like Rayquaza can hilariously hit them around:

RayRay giving no damn to Team Go Rocket’s Balloons! from r/TheSilphRoad

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